Women of Steel 13 points clear at top of SWPL2 going into summer break

Motherwell Ladies FC secured their third win in seven days with a 7-0 thrashing of Glasgow Girls at the Braidhurst Academy on Sunday, writes Andrew Scott.
Action from Motherwell Ladies 7-0 thrashing of Glasgow Girls (Pic by Sally Neil)Action from Motherwell Ladies 7-0 thrashing of Glasgow Girls (Pic by Sally Neil)
Action from Motherwell Ladies 7-0 thrashing of Glasgow Girls (Pic by Sally Neil)

It was a busy, yet highly productive week for Eddie Wolecki Black’s side as they also ensured their progression into the third round of the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup with an 8-1 trouncing of Cumbernauld Colts and recovered from a goal behind to record a 4-1 away victory over Hearts.

Victory over Glasgow Girls, coupled with Kilmarnock’s home loss to St Johnstone, means Motherwell now sit 13 points clear at the top of the SWPL2 table with eight games remaining.

Motherwell face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park in their first game back following the summer break on August 5, knowing four more victories are required to clinch promotion to the top flight of Scottish women’s football for the first time.

Sunday’s success over Glasgow Girls was rarely in doubt after a superb start from the women of steel.

They would open the scoring after six minutes when Suzanne Mulvey pounced on a defensive error and unselfishly played the ball to Kerry Montgomery, who picked her spot from close range.

Lauren Evans then nearly snuck a goal back to level the game. A mix up between Nicholson and Johnston at the back enabled Evans to get the extra half yard over the defence, but her shot was a tame effort and the ’Well defence escaped unharmed.

On the half hour mark Mulvey doubled the Motherwell lead. A great delivery into the box by Russell wasn’t dealt with by the Glasgow defence and Mulvey was on hand to smash the ball home.

Russell nearly made it three on the brink of half-time, a fine effort from distance had the keeper rooted to the spot, unfortunately though, the ball spun inches wide in an effort that was deserving of a goal.

The ladies grabbed an early second half goal. Mulvey was on hand yet again to finish off a good counter attacking move by the hosts. Montgomery broke through the Glasgow defence and played in Mulvey for her second of the match.

With just over an hour played and the scorching heat beginning to take its toll on the players, Russell bagged a double in the space of five minutes. Her first came after 63 minutes when her explosive run through the Glasgow defence ended with her calmly slotting the ball under the onrushing keeper.

Russell’s second goal came five minutes later in confusing circumstances. A great delivery by Cunningham into the box looked to have been put in at the back post by Russell, however the Glasgow players protested saying it went through the side net. With no VAR available, the referee had to consult his linesman to get the final verdict. However, they both agreed that the goal should stand and Motherwell moved into a 5-0 lead.

In the final quarter of an hour, Motherwell scored twice in a matter of minutes.

The first came from McLaughlin who got a well-deserved goal after some great interchanging passes between herself and Montgomery.

A one-two into the box enabled her to produce a tidy finish into the bottom right corner.

Motherwell grabbed their seventh of the game on the 80-minute mark. Burns added her name to the scoresheet with one of her trademark long distance shots.

The midfielder rifled one into the top right corner from range to wrap up the victory for the Women of Steel.